7 Ways to Keep Your Mac Secure from Hackers

iMac on a white desk with a white Sonos One and a green plant

Your Mac houses some of your most sensitive data and it’s important to keep that information secure. Cyber attacks are more frequent than ever, particularly for Mac users. According to a 2020 Malwarebytes report, between 2018 and 2019 the overall prevalence of Mac threats increased over 400. Cybersecurity intimidates a lot of people because they think it’s complicated, but what people don’t realize is that securing a Mac is relatively easy. Below are seven different ways you can secure your Mac from security threats and protect your information.

  • Disable automatic login

The automatic login may seem convenient, but it’s actually a big security risk. You might not have to worry about your Mac being stolen while you’re at home, but if someone gets ahold of your device in public they’ll have free access to all of your data. Protect your information from thieves by setting your computer to display a login screen whenever it turns on.

  • Change the default settings

Check the default settings on your Mac to see what apps have been allowed to share and view your data. Some apps may have been granted access to your location, contacts, calendar, and other personal information. A few apps may even have access to your camera and microphone. To check the settings of each app, open Systems Preferences on your Mac and then select Security and Privacy. From here, you can select the Privacy tab. The Privacy tab will show you various data categories Mac apps are allowed to access. Go through each category and determine which apps are accessing your information and disable the ones you don’t feel comfortable with.

  • Encrypt your traffic

If you’re like most people, you probably access public Wi-Fi at coffee shops, the airport, or anywhere else you can find free internet. The problem with public Wi-Fi is that it’s not very secure. Hackers scope public networks looking for an opportunity to steal user data like credit card numbers, passwords, user names, and more. One way you can protect your data when you’re in a public place is by using a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts your traffic and ensures the data passing through the router is not intercepted by other people. Download VPN for Mac so you don’t have to worry about losing your information the next time you use public Wi-Fi.

  • Select a reliable antivirus

The built-in security features on your Mac are not enough to protect you from hackers. In 2018 alone there were over 30 million cyber attacks, which ends up being about 80,000 cyber attacks per day. You need an antivirus program that will protect you from a variety of threats from ransomware to online attacks. Choose an antivirus for your Mac that has good reviews and is known to actually work. A few features the antivirus should have include protection from phishing, spyware, malware and ransomware.

  • Create unique passwords

Secure passwords for each of your logins helps protect your information, but too often people use the same simple password for every account. You should be using complex passwords and changing them on a regular basis.

When you’re trying to keep your data safe, it can be difficult to remember the unique passwords of every account you own. If you have trouble remembering the correct sequence of special characters then use a password manager. A password manager is a software program that stores your credential information in a secure encrypted database. Using this program, you can frequently change passwords to keep your data secure without worrying about forgetting login information.

  • Enable file encryption

If you store valuable files on your device then you should enable file encryption. FileVault is a feature available on Macs that provides full-disk encryption. This means that once you enable the file encryption feature, every file you create will be encrypted on your drive and no one will be able to access your drive without the FileVault password. This layer of protection is especially helpful if your device is ever stolen. Thieves won’t be able to get past the encryption and access your information, so although they have your device, your data is still safe.

  • Update your programs

Always keep your operating system and software programs updated. Certain cyber attacks target outdated software because they know where to find the program’s vulnerabilities. Updated versions of software frequently patch weaknesses that can potentially allow hackers to access your information. If you don’t regularly update your programs, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to attack.

Conclusion

In today’s digital world, securing your data is more important than ever. Cybercriminals are constantly targeting users and looking for ways to steal information. Take the necessary steps to safeguard your data and avoid becoming a victim of cybercriminals.